Washington Nationals: Humidor can’t stop Matt Adams roar

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PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 10: Jarrod Dyson #1 of the of the Arizona Diamondbacks safely dives back to first base as Matt Adams #15 of the Washington Nationals waits for the throw from the pitchers mound during the tenth inning at Chase Field on May 10, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. Nationals win 2-1 in ten innings. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 10: Jarrod Dyson #1 of the of the Arizona Diamondbacks safely dives back to first base as Matt Adams #15 of the Washington Nationals waits for the throw from the pitchers mound during the tenth inning at Chase Field on May 10, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. Nationals win 2-1 in ten innings. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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The day has finally arrived, an article about the Washington Nationals that includes a humidor. But that couldn’t stop Matt Adams being the hero in extras.

On Thursday, the Washington Nationals traveled to Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, in a low-scoring extra innings affair, it was the newly installed humidor that seemed to be the cause.

According to ESPN’s park factor, Arizona’s home ballpark now ranks 26th in baseball. Compare that to last year where it ranked third, behind notorious hitters parks Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies) and Globe Life Park (home of the Texas Rangers).

We saw the evidence of how big the park is playing on Thursday night. The Nationals seemed to hit a lot of balls with authority to the warning track. In a lot of other ballparks, these would’ve been home runs but alas tonight they remained loud outs.

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Expect this to be a theme throughout the series, and with the Nats sending Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg they will look to take advantage of the newly pitcher-friendly environment.

Matt Adams plays the hero

After both teams struggled to generate offense in this one, it was the Nationals hottest hitter who got the huge hit. Matt Adams continues to assault pitching no matter where he plays and got his 25th RBI of the season.

The crucial hit even came off of left-hander Andrew Chafin, strengthening Adams case to start regardless of pitcher. That’s now his fourth hit off a lefty this season in just 13 ABs, and will keep drawing starts at first base or left field for the foreseeable future.

He’s been one of the best free agent signings by anyone this season in the major leagues. He’s transformed himself into an integral piece of the Nationals offense this season after getting regular opportunity due to injury. Remember, the Atlanta Braves moved Freddie Freeman to third base last season to accommodate him, so this hitting prowess is legit.

Matt Wieters leaves game injured

Early on in this game, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters had to leave the game with an as yet undisclosed injury. He appeared to pull up as he was rounding first base on a second inning single. He then needed to be helped off the field, before heading back to the clubhouse.

If Wieters ends up missing time, then the obvious replacement will be Pedro Severino. But in terms of who would take the backup job with Severino promoted to the starting role, there are not many options. First off, aside from the two aforementioned catchers, there are no other catching options on the 40-man roster.

So the likely call up will either be Tuffy Gosewisch or Spencer Kieboom from the Syracuse Chiefs. My money would be on Kieboom, who impressed in spring, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Next: Soto on the fast-track

On Friday, it’s Scherzer day for the Washington Nationals, as he faces of against his former employers for eighth time. If the Nats can secure at least a split this early in the series, then it will take a huge amount of pressure off the last two games.

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